Handy Dandy


William Gibson

Published by Dramatists Play Service

1 Male 1 Female

The first of many confrontations between Molly Egan, a feisty, salty-tongued activist nun in her early sevenities and District Court Judge Henry Pulaski, a conservative jurist in his sixties, occurs when she appears in his courtroom after being arrested for picketing a local arms research laboratory

Molly is a tough survivor who refuses to accept the notion that her destiny - and that of the civilized world - is something over which she has no control; Henry is a man devoted to logic and the law, who believes that vigils and protests are counterproductive

But as Molly is hauled back into his court again and again. Henry begins to develop a grudging respect for her courage and spirit, and eventually the two begin to hear each other out on a personal as well as professional level

Molly, who had three husbands and four abortions before becoming a nun, proves to have not only a strong sense of purpose but also a wise, compassionate heart; and Henry, widowed and alienated from his only son, is both lonely and vulnerable behind his stern exterior

In the end, weakened by a protest fast, Molly dies - but her sacrifice, if only because of the change it works in her onetime adversary and eventual admirer, is not in vain

Alternately funny and touching, this masterful play uses the unlikely and slowly developing friendship between a worldly District Court Judge and an aging, radical nun to point up the terrible threat inherent in the nuclear policies pursued by so - called civilized nations

" a charming and poignant drama about two resilient personalities who nurture each other in the face of nuclear annihilation deals with a weighty theme in a simple, unself-conscious way" ~ Variety

" an exhilarating piece of theatre" ~ NY Newsday

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